SHANE WILSON The Halifax West Clayton Park Weekly News
Lewis Novack, 14, whose grandfather died recently from pancreatic cancer, was one of about 100 Craig's Cause riders. (Darrell Oake photo)
It sneaks up on 3,500 Canadians a year. Just 100 of those Canadians will survive a diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer is not well understood in early stages because it's almost impossible to detect, which is one of the reasons it has only a three per cent survival rate.
Craig Schurman Condon was not among the lucky three per cent.
The 61-year-old died a year ago this month. He was diagnosed with the deadly form of cancer just two months before his death. His family decided shortly after to start a charity in his name.
The group is a clearinghouse for information about pancreatic cancer, and is based in Porter's Lake. Craig's Cause also raises money for research in Canada.
Craig's Cause first annual memorial bike tour went off without a hitch in and around Porter's Lake Provincial Park last Saturday. The skies were grey for the start, but the mood was upbeat and hopeful as about 100 riders came out to raise some cash and have a whole lot of fun.
Fourteen-year-old Lewis Novack was one of those riders. Lewis's grandfather died from pancreatic cancer not that long ago, and his death had a huge impact on the family
"They were very close," says Novack's mom, Debbie. "He couldn't do anything about it, so he spent every minute he could in palliative care with his grandfather."
Novack found out there's not enough support for pancreatic cancer victims. He discovered that, like all cancers, early detection is vital, so he made up his mind he was going to do something to help.
"This came up in the paper. I'm always interested in biking and medicine, so I thought it would be a perfect thing to do," says Lewis.
The teen prepared for the ride by biking all over Halifax and Dartmouth. He rides his bike for two hours, eating up about 30 kilometres of road every day.
Lewis figures he raised about $350 for Craig's Cause.
"I went around the neighbourhood, around the community and to my school and friends and family, and they supported me."
Lewis is understating his work.
His mom says the teen went all over on his bike raising money, and even had his principal make an announcement asking for donations at his school.
Lewis finished his 38 kilometres near the front of the pack.
"It's the longest I've ever ridden, and I think I did really good," says Novack. He feels his grandfather would be proud.
The founder of Craig's Cause, Stefanie Condon-Oldrieve, is pleased with the turnout at this year's event.
"Our goal for this year was $20,000. The bike tour raised $10,000, which means we have $24,000 for pancreatic cancer research this year," she said. "We will definitely have another one next year."